If your bruise does not require an
evaluation by a doctor, you may be able to use home treatment to
help relieve pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Rest and protect a bruised
Ice will reduce pain and swelling.
Apply ice or cold packs immediately to prevent or minimize swelling. Apply the
ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
For the first 48 hours after an injury, avoid
things that might increase swelling, such as hot showers, hot tubs, hot packs,
or alcoholic beverages.
After 48 to 72 hours, if swelling is gone,
apply heat and begin gentle exercise with the aid of moist heat to help restore
and maintain flexibility. Some experts recommend alternating between hot and
Compression, or wrapping the
bruised area with an elastic bandage (such as an Ace wrap), will help decrease
swelling. Don't wrap it too tightly, as this can cause more swelling below the
affected area. Loosen the bandage if it gets too tight. Signs that the bandage
is too tight include numbness, tingling, increased pain, coolness, or swelling
in the area below the bandage. Talk to your doctor if you think
you need to use a wrap for longer than 48 to 72 hours. A more serious problem
may be present.
Elevate the bruised area on
pillows while applying ice and anytime you are sitting or lying down. Try to
keep the area at or above the level of your heart to help minimize swelling.
Gently massage or rub the area to relieve pain and encourage blood
flow. Do not massage the bruised area if it causes pain.
If your bruise is causing pain, take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
desired, apply a natural product directly to the bruise.